FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has sent out a warning to his fellow teammates ahead of the high-octane clash with Manchester United in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. United did the unthinkable when the Red Devils knocked out Paris Saint Germain to reach the last 8 of the tournament.
Under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have thrived on many occasions and can bring the fight to the Catalan giants with the first leg being hosted at Old Trafford.
Pique, who spent four years at United as a youngster before heading to FC Barcelona, returns to Old Trafford for the first time since 2008.
The Barca defender cited PSG as an example that how ‘unpredictable’ United can be and felt that Barca have to score plenty of goals in order to achieve a positive result.
“I think the PSG tie is a great example,” the defender said in a news conference on Tuesday. “I think [at Old Trafford], PSG played better. In the second half, they scored and could have scored more.
“But you can’t leave United alive. If you can beat them [by] scoring a lot of goals, you have to do it. They have a great history and they showed that in Paris, even with a lot of young lads from the academy. It’s a great example for us. We have to be switched on from the first minute until the last.”
United have received a positive boost ahead of the clash as Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez could be available for tonight’s clash. For Barca on the other hand, winger Ousmane Dembele is fit to play for the Catalans as well.
Barcelona have won the UCL four times since 2006, but in the last three seasons, have failed to go past the quarterfinals. While rivals Real Madrid won thrice in a row, Pique added that his teammates do not feel any added pressure.
“Pressure would be if we’d never won it or if this was the only title left for us [to win] this season,” he said.
“Look back and you will see that we have done very well in [all competitions] in recent seasons. So, there’s no pressure. There’s a lot of excitement.”
FC Barcelona lock horns with Manchester United in the first leg of the UCL quarterfinals at Old Trafford on Thursday.